News Release – Five Civilized Tribes Culture Festival

 In Press

Media Contact:

Jim Perry – Fort Smith Bicentennial Committee – Chairman, Arts and Culture

Tel. (479) 883-4876






As part of the 200th Anniversary Celebration featuring Arts and Culture, on March 3, 2018 the Fort Smith Convention Center will host the Five Civilized Tribes for an all-day, free admission festival of their culture, life and historical influence on Fort Smith.



Fort Smith, AR (February 13, 2018) – As part of the City of Fort Smith’s Bicentennial 2018 first quarter events celebrating our Arts and Culture, the Five Civilized Tribes will come together for an all-day event of dance, music, storytelling, lectures, game demonstrations, and more. The festival will also feature traditional arts such as weaving, pottery, basketry, as well as painting, sculpture, and samplings of traditional foods. There will also be traditional dance, songs and musical instrument demonstrations and performances throughout the day. A handmade dugout canoe, weaponry such as bows, arrows, and blowguns, will also be exhibited.

The Five Civilized Tribes:

  • The Cherokee Nation
  • The Chickasaw Nation
  • The Choctaw Nation
  • The Muscogee (Creek) Nation
  • The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

“The Bicentennial committee has been working with the Five Civilized Tribes Inter-tribal Council and individual Tribal leaders for several months to bring this incredible, collaborative event to the people of Fort Smith. We are extremely grateful for their generosity and efforts to create this exciting and culturally rich experience for our community and neighbors,” said Jim Perry, Bicentennial Celebration Committee – Chairman, Arts and Culture.

The festival is Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the Fort Smith Convention Center, 800 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas. Exhibit hall doors open at 10:00 am and the festival ends at 5:00 pm. The festival is open to everyone and the admission is free. Also, in commemoration of Fort Smith’s Bicentennial Celebration, OG&E is partnering with Keep Fort Smith Beautiful to give away 200 native trees at the Convention Center, during the Five Civilized Tribes Exhibit.  The trees will be given away on a first come, first serve basis, starting at 10:00 am.

We appreciate the participation of the Five Civilized Tribes in our Bicentennial Celebration.

We are well aware of the historical significance the Tribes have played in our history, especially the Trail of Tears and our National Historic Site.”, said Sandy Sanders, Mayor, City of Fort Smith. “As an Oklahoma native who attended Sequoyah Elementary School in Oklahoma City, personally I am very excited about the participation of the Five Tribes.”

The goal of this Bicentennial event is to create awareness of the cultural influence and historical significance the Five Civilized Tribes have played throughout our history as we come together to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Fort Smith.

The story of Fort Smith has been shaped by a diverse and multi-faceted variety of cultures and people throughout our 200-year history. An important legacy for our city, region, and the country was forged by the people who shared our heritage with us and were instrumental in forming many of the early cultural values the people of this area shared, and continue to share. The Fort Smith Bicentennial Celebration committee welcomes the opportunity to showcase the rich and colorful culture of the Five Civilized Tribes with the people of Fort Smith and this region.



Fort Smith Bicentennial Celebration

In 2018, the Bicentennial Celebration year has been divided into 4 quarters, each with a different theme and corresponding events. The first quarter’s theme is Arts and Culture. Beginning January 1, 2018, a series of performance, visual, literary and related cultural events are being held to entertain, educate and enlighten area residents about the culture and lifestyles of Fort Smith throughout history, up to the present day, and beyond.


– 30 –

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search